Carson City IHOP gunman said he saw demons, authorities say
Police have long said Sencion, the gunman who shot to death four people in a Nevada IHOP before killing himself, was mentally troubled. But they had never specified how much his mind had crumbled before the Sept. 6 rampage.
In a presentation to fellow law enforcement officers obtained by the Associated Press, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office painted the most detailed picture yet of the 32-year-old gunman.
Sencion was a devout Catholic with no criminal history. He first sought treatment when an employer told his family he was growing paranoid. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a relative later told police, and though he took medication for it, he was committed more than once.
A shy man, Sencion told his family he avoided intimacy with women because he feared he might “father a child and pass along his illness," the AP said.
At some point, he gave his mother the keys to his gun safe, telling her he was getting sick. He thought demons were trying to harm him. After his medications were changed this summer, he approached the priest, a stranger, and begged for help.
About a month later, Sencion drove to the IHOP with two assault rifles, two handguns and 595 rounds of ammunition, the AP said. He charged into the restaurant and opened fire.
Three National Guard members died -- Sgt. 1st Class Christian Riege, 38; Maj. Heath Kelly, 35; and Sgt. 1st Class Miranda McElhiney, 31 -- as well as Florence Donovan-Gunderson, 67. Seven people were wounded.
-- Ashley Powers in Las Vegas
Photo: An officer looks for evidence at the scene of a shooting at an IHOP restaurant in Carson City, Nev. Credit: Cathleen Allison/Associated Press